Infertility, Infertility Advocacy, Surrogacy

“Synthetic” Children

March 16, 2015

Once again, infertility patients are the subject of harsh judgment and ridicule.  This time from an unlikely source — a pair of gay men who are globally acclaimed fashion designers.

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana of Dolce & Gabbana recently were quoted in The Telegraph saying,

“No chemical offsprings and rented uterus: life has a natural flow, there are things that should not be changed.” Dolce went on that procreation “must be an act of love”, saying: “You are born to a mother and a father – or at least that’s how it should be. I call children of chemistry, synthetic children. Rented uterus, semen chosen from a catalog.”

Say what?

Elton John blasted them on Instagram and he’s calling for a boycott of their brand.

We are talking about MY children — my real-life children — not a concept, not synthetic. Excuse me while I go all mama bear.

I’ve seen people write “Oh, who cares?” about these two buffoons.

I DO! This is not ok. I’m not ok with this. This is ignorance, hate and intolerance. I believe my anger is warranted when it’s righteous anger.

Unfortunately, it didn’t end there. It got personal. I wrote about this on my personal Facebook page last night and a “friend” agreed with D&G.  When we’re talking about strangers and internet trolls, I get mad, upset and indignant; but it’s another thing all together when it comes from a friend. It cuts to the core and it hurts.

This is a perfect example of why I do what I do. I advocate for infertility to try to counteract this kind of ignorance and intolerance, from famous people with a large voice to friends in my personal sphere. These kinds of ignorant comments indicate that we have a long way to go.

I have decided henceforth that I have a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY for intolerance and hate surrounding infertility treatment and my children. Rather than debate this endlessly on Facebook, I cut it off and unfriended two people. ZERO tolerance. I do my best to educate and have civil discourse, but there is a point of no return and I won’t waste my time unnecessarily.

I will be fighting for infertility advocacy, rights and education for my whole life.  This will never end.

I will do it for me, I will do it for others and most of all, I will do it for my children.

It pains me deeply to think that one day, someone will say something hateful to them about their conception and/or existence. That’s why I’ll keep fighting.  And, when it concerns my children, buckle up people, it’s gonna get bumpy.

First of all, I have a right to treat my disease. It really ends there. There is nothing unnatural about that. I have a diagnosed disease that affects my reproductive ability and I have a right to treat it. If you think that’s unnatural, then do you think heart surgery and chemo are unnatural? Does treating any medical condition suddenly become playing God?

Speaking of God, I personally believe my children are a blessing from God. He sent me an angel and her name is Nicole. One of my friends wrote this on my Facebook page yesterday,

“The basis of that argument assumes that we, as humans, can thwart God’s will for us…and we cannot. I don’t care how important you think you are, you are never more powerful than God. If it is not His will, He will stop it, no question. So to say that those babies aren’t from Him is ridiculous. They are proof of the existence of a loving God.”

D&G said procreation “must be an act of love.”  Are you kidding me? My children were loved for years before they were conceived or named. They were prayed over by many people. My husband and I desperately wanted a child to call our own and went through hell to get there — eight long years of treatments, injections, surgeries, losses and heartache beyond compare. Yet, I pressed on with hope, when my head couldn’t comprehend it, but my heart clung to it.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Many people have “oops” pregnancies.  Some women drink like they’re on fire and smoke like they’re trying to put it out while pregnant. Some children are born out of lust. Why the cheap shot at infertile couples who treat their disease and OBVIOUSLY really want a child?

The “rent a uterus” comment really struck a chord with me as gestational surrogacy is how we built our family. Our surrogate carried our babies because she wanted to help an infertile couple. It was not about money for her. This was an act of love. In my opinion, one of the greatest gifts of love that you could give or receive. And, even if it was a compensated surrogacy, so what? I’m thankful there are women, compensated or not, that will help infertile couples.

I assure you my children are not synthetic. They are indeed real. They are loved to the moon and back. They were conceived out of love.

#BoycottDolceGabbana

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  • Mindy Kay Smith

    Thank you for this, Whitney! I felt the same kick in the gut as an adoptive family. Our daughter is our daughter through God’s will, too!!! It’s a pretty miraculous story- if you’re interested you can check it out here: http://thoroughlymodernmommy.com/2013/11/22/epic-stories-the-adoption-edition/
    Thank you for everything you do to give infertility a voice!

    • Whitney Anderson

      Thank you, Mindy! I will check out your site.

  • Thanks for the excellent blogpost, I will be sharing it.

  • This reminded me of something my mom told me when I kept having miscarriage after miscarriage with IUIs: that unless what you are doing is parallel to the will of the universe, or god (whatever you choose to call it), this will not work out. A child will only happen when it is meant to be. And when it is meant to be, nothing can stop it.

    This in itself may hurt many people who are out in the trenches fighting to have their baby. God knows, at that point, I felt a pang or two. Sigh. About D&G, they are idiots. Given that a large percentage of their clientele is made up of the uber rich who frequently have to go for ART given advanced maternal age, they just shot themselves in the foot. And I applaud you for just unfriending those people, and nor arguing/debating.

    • Whitney Anderson

      Jay, Yea, it’s freeing to just be done with people who feel that about me and my children.

  • juss

    Whitney, you are right to cut off those people. They ARE idiots. But anyways noone has the right to say such things – out of ignorance, lack of consideration or simple stupidity – because we are talking about enormous grief couples like you guys go through for years. If someone says “I would act differently” and would not do IVF and surrogacy if the child cannot be born without these treatments, it is their choice but they should neverless shut up (especially considering that these statements are almost always hypothetical and made by people who never were in these situations).
    You children are lucky to have such great parents who did impossible to bring them to the world, no doubt about how blessed they are. Lots of love to you and everyone who does this for their children!

    • Whitney Anderson

      Juss, That is such a sweet comment. Thank you. I agree, I hope my children will know one day that we loved them long before they arrived and we fought for them.